When I was in middle school, my father would take me out to Violettes Lock on the Potomac River to kayak the rapids. After we finished the run and after we paddled back up the C&O Canel, we'd always make a stop at Adrian's Fish and Tackle Shop. There, in the back right corner, past the bait and hooks and other fishing bits and bobs, we would order THE BEST meatball subs in the world. This is no exaggeration.** Sadly, Adrian's closed sometime while I was away at college, and so my source of superior meatball subs was cut off.
Fast forward 10+ years, I'm now living in Portland, and I meet a handful of other meatball sub lovers. Because we couldn't agree on where the best meatball sub in Portland was to be found, we decided it was only fair to start systematically testing all available subs by a very rigorous scorecard. The scorecard rates each sub from 1 to 5 balls on such essentials as bread, cheese, sauce, and the meatball itself, as well as on ambiance and "that certain something."
The quest is ongoing. Currently tied for first are: Shut Up & Eat (3848 SE Gladstone) and the annual meatball supper at St. Rita's Catholic Church (10029 NE Prescott, Palm Sunday only!)
The Meatball Club includes the following proud members: Lori Kruse Stepper, Killeen Hanson, MacKenzie Zirk, and Kendra Hinckley, as well as other welcome occasional additions.
RESEARCH, EATING, LAUGHING